The day started out in Kure, Japan where we got on the bus for the tour.

Kure as seen from over a highway fence with mountains behind under a cloudy sky.

As we neared the bridge I saw this over the barrier.  The gold at the points of the roof are statues.

A Buddhist Shrine seen over a highway fence with tiny golden Budhas on the 3 roof points.

As we approached the bridge, this is what I saw out the bus window.

Kintai Bridge as seen through my bus window showing four of five arches.

My first view of Kintai Bridge

Kintai Bridge was built in 1673 after a monk from China showed the local lord a picture of a bridge with five arches in China.  The next year the bridge was destroyed by floods so a special tax was established and the bridge was rebuilt according to a schedule.  The tax to maintain the bridge is now a toll to cross the bridge or enter the nearby museums (which I couldn’t do thanks to time constraints).

We pulled into the gravel parking lot and spilled out for an hour of independent exploring.

All five arches of the bridge as seen from the gravel parking lot.

The bridge is built on stone arches

A stone support for the wooden bridge

with wood arches in the center three arches.  The side two arches are supported by wooden beams

A view looking up of the wooden walkway supported by a woden arch.

and the ends go on the rock of the riverbank.

The end of the wooden bridge goes into a short by nearly sheer drop to the riverbed.

I climbed the short set of steps to the bridge, paid the 300 yen (about $3.50 US dollar) it cost to cross the bridge and come back, and this is what I saw:

A view next to the wooden railings of the top of the first arch of the bridge.

I crossed the center arches not on smooth wood but on wooden stairs.

A lady and child coming down wooden stairs on the bridge in a photo taken from the floor of the bridge looking up.

Even short flights of steps look long from an ant’s view. 🙂

Across the bridge I found a Kikko Park, a Japanese garden  dedicated to the third feudal lord of the area who had designed the original bridge centuries ago.

A tarnished brass statue of a 17th century Japanese fuedal lord.

Kikkawa Hiroshi’s statue at the entrance to Kikko Park.

If you look closely at the picture you can see the landing for the cable cars going to Iwakuni Castle in the upper right corner of the picture as well as some trees in bloom behind the statue on the right of the picture.  We didn’t have much time to investigate the area but here is a link to more things in the area if you go sightseeing to the Hiroshima area in Japan.

A tree with pink blossoms are clear in front of the picture while the castle behind is a blur.

If you look in the center of the picture you can see Iwakuni Castle through the blossoms.

I’m not sure if that tree is an apricot tree or a cherry tree but I like the image it presents.

A gray tabby cat hiding under the tablecloth of a display table.

This feline is hiding from the wind under a display table.

I saw this cutie and had to take the picture.  Stray cats are so common here in Japan that they are often viewed as wild birds are viewed in the States.

By that we had to get back on the bus for our next destination, Hiroshima Island but I took one more picture before getting on the bus..

An arch of the wooden bridge under the distant Japanese castle on a mountaintop above.

This is an arch of Kintai Bridge with Iwakuni Castle seen above it.

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